Online Safety is an important part of keeping children safe at Witnesham Primary School. We have extensive security measures in place in school, which are monitored both internally and externally, to help safeguard pupils from potential dangers or unsuitable material. Any Online Safety incidents are recorded and managed in accordance with our Online Safety Policy.
Online Safety is taught to all pupils explaining and demonstrating how to stay safe and behave appropriately online. However, we can only be successful in keeping children safe online if we work with parents to ensure the online safety message is consistent. To help to share this message, each child and their parent or carer read and sign an Acceptable Usage Policy agreement on internet use as they start school and at the beginning of each academic year. This provides an opportunity for parents to speak with their children about how they can keep safe and behave appropriately online.
It’s essential to be realistic - banning the internet or technology will not work and it often makes a child less likely to report a problem. Education around safe use is essential.
We realise that knowing how to keep your children safe on-line at home can appear daunting, so we do our best to provide information for parents as well as for the children:
Carers are invited into school when their children are in classes 2, 3 and 4 for a learning together session on internet safety. This gives children and carers the chance to talk together about the important issues surrounding online safety.
The school has signed up to the free Digital Parenting Magazine, produced by Vodafine, which informs parents about the various technologies children are accessing today, including ‘How to Guides’ on a wide range of topics. We distribute copies to all parents whenever a new edition is received, and current and previous editions are available on-line at https://parentzone.org.uk/digital-parenting-online-safety-magazine-archive. It’s well worth a read!
CEOP (The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) delivers a multi-agency service dedicated to tackling the abuse and exploitation of children in the real and ‘e’ world. Often it is referred to as an online 999. By clicking on the button, young people and parents can get advice on a range of issues such as viruses, hacking and dealing with bullying online. The “Thinkuknow” website is brought to you by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) centre. Kidsmart gives you lots of advice on how to stay safe online.
Top Tips for Keeping Your Child Safe Online
Talk to your child about what they’re up to online. Be a part of their online life; involve the whole family and show an interest. Find out what sites they visit and what they love about them, if they know you understand they are more likely to come to you if they have any problems. Watch Thinkuknow films and cartoons with your child. The www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents has films, games and advice for child from five all the way to 16.
Encourage your child to go online and explore! There is a wealth of age-appropriate sites online for your children. Encourage them to use sites which are fun, educational and that will help them to develop online skills.
Keep up-to-date with your child’s development online. Children grow up fast and they will be growing in confidence and learning new skills daily. It’s important that as your child learns more, so do you.
Set boundaries in the online world just as you would in the real world. Think about what they might see, what they share, who they talk to and how long they spend online. It is important to discuss boundaries at a young age to develop the tools and skills children need to enjoy their time online.
Keep all equipment that connects to the internet in a family space. For children of this age, it is important to keep internet use in family areas so you can see the sites your child is using and be there for them if they stumble across something they don’t want to see. If a predator sees a living room/kitchen in the background on the webcam rather than a child’s bedroom, they will be less likely to embark on attempting to groom your child.
Know what connects to the internet and how. Nowadays even the TV connects to the internet. Make sure you’re aware of which devices that your child uses connect to the internet, such as their phone or games console. Also, find out how they are accessing the internet – is it your connection, or a neighbour’s Wi-Fi? This will affect whether the safety setting you set are being applied.
Use parental controls on devices that link to the internet, such as the TV, laptops, computers, games consoles and mobile phones. Parental controls are not just about locking and blocking, they are a tool to help you set appropriate boundaries as your child grows and develops. They are not the answer to your child’s online safety, but they are a good start and they are not as difficult to install as you might think. Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly. There is a link on the 'Think u Know' website which can help you find your service provider and set your controls.
Help your child to understand that they should never give out personal details to online friends—personal information includes their messenger ID, email address, mobile number and any pictures of themselves, their family and friends. If your child publishes a picture or video online, anyone can change it or share it. Remind them that anyone could be looking at their images!
If you child receives spam/junk email and texts, remind them never to believe them, reply to them or use them. It’s not a good idea for your child to open files from people they don’t know. They won’t know what they contain—it could be a virus or worse—an inappropriate image or film.
Help your child to understand that some people lie online and therefore it’s better to keep online mates online. They should never meet up with any strangers without an adult they trust.
Teach your child how to block someone online and how to report them if they feel uncomfortable.
Further Advice on Child Internet Safety
Online Safety advice for parents and carers, produced by a partnership of public sector bodies in Warwickshire
Digi Ducks Big Decision - a book to use with KS1 children about keeping safe on the Internet
Advice for parents on Cyberbullying